Infocenter Directory

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Continuous, unattended noise monitoring systems can immediately alert you should noise levels exceed defined criteria. Once alerted to an exceedance, operators can act to return levels to compliance. This approach has two significant limitations. Firstly, the operator can only take action after the breach has occurred and therefore systems are only able to inform owners about problems that have occurred in the past, rather than allowing them to maintain compliance.

Secondly the noise limit exceedances might not be due to specific noise from the operator but from unrelated, residual noise in the often complex noise climates around the site. Compliance breaches are frequently triggered by aircraft overflights, road traffic or community sources.

Modern monitoring systems enable users to view noise characteristics and listen to the noise breach to determine the source and take action if it is relevant. However, this approach can create significant false positives each taking up operator time to address. This paper describes how airport noise management systems have addressed this problem by combining data from other systems. It also shows how different techniques are required in urban & industrial noise management, giving examples of techniques that allow operators to take action before a compliance breach occurs.

Keywords: Environmental noise management, monitoring, compliance I-INCE Classification of Subjects Number(s): 52, 52.1, 52.5, 72.1

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Environmental noise standards and legislation are typically based on the principles of noise monitoring instead of noise management. There is a crucial difference between these principles. Monitoring, being after the fact, can only inform about past problems and is usually based on relatively simple legal limits rather than on the current situation. Management, however, can avoid problems and, in addition, capture trends reflecting what’s currently happening. There is also a mismatch between what standards and legislation permit and what modern technology can provide through broad band communication, the internet, mobile phones, and increasing computing power. Real-time monitoring of noise, weather and process parameters, advanced assessment parameters, comparison with predictions, etc, and communicating effectively with the public are increasingly used to efficiently manage environmental noise compliance and impact. This enables operators to prevent noise exceedances and optimize relations with the surrounding community and authorities. This paper will provide examples of how real-time information, predictive alerting, correlation of different data sets and cooperation with the surrounding community can help to efficiently manage environmental noise compliance, impact and to build community tolerance, providing an even better way to deal with noise issues than simply following the letter of current standards and legislation.

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Construction is forecast to grow by 85% by 2030. Large infrastructure projects such as subways, sewers, roads and railways, driven by population growth and increased urbanisation, are often in close proximity to established residential communities. Such projects require sustained work lasting several years and can cause significant noise nuisance and risk structural damage, both leading to litigation. Both nuisance and damage have the potential to introduce project delays further prolonging impact and significantly increasing project cost for contractors.
To help mitigate these risks, contractors are increasingly turning to continuous noise and vibration monitoring to ensure that the impact from construction activity is kept within guidelines, claims of damage can be dealt with easily, communities are impacted less and projects finish on time.
This paper will look at how noise and vibration monitoring around construction sites is addressed around the world. Which legislation it falls under, what assessment methodology and parameters are used, and how measurement data is used, assessed, presented and reported. Examples from around the world are included. It highlights the impact of the above on system design. Keywords: Building vibration, Construction noise, Noise management I-INCE Classification of Subjects Number(s): 52, 71, 72, 80

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The construction of infrastructure and new buildings risks causing significant impact on the neighbourhood, particularly for major infrastructure projects. Due to local community concerns, construction activities are often subject to operational restrictions. To effectively operate within these restrictions, instrumentation is often deployed to monitor noise and / or vibration. An alternative approach to the purchasing and operating costly equipment to monitor compliance is available through Managed Services offering:

  • Technology innovation enabling simultaneous noise and vibration monitoring
  • Manpower and cost reductions in monitoring resulting in a more economically attractive approach to traditional noise monitoring

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Environmental noise management, with real-time data collection, processing and presentation, helps operators not only meet their noise limit obligations, but can also help avoid problems. For industrial applications such as construction sites, petrochemical plants, waste recycling plants, mines and ports, there are a wide variety of sources of specific sound, for which, to be separated from residual sound, needs more advanced analysis. Traditional noise event detection is often not suitable for the above applications where the sources have more variable noise signatures. A 2nd generation event technique, Noise Alerts, provides greater flexibility by processing and combining any real-time input data to alert staff and immediately provide additional data that enables troubleshooting and timely identification and resolution of issues.

Real-time monitoring of noise and weather, and correlating data from multiple locations is increasingly used to efficiently manage environmental noise compliance and impact.

This paper will describe Noise Alerts based on the combination of noise and weather and on the correlation of noise levels from multiple locations. It will describe some of the pre-requisites for robust and accurate alerting, and will provide examples of how this can help to efficiently manage environmental noise and thus help build community tolerance.

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In 1998 Birmingham City Council (BCC) in the United Kingdom commissioned a pilot study that lead to a city wide Noise Map taking into respects the road and rail net as well as a terrain model and the buildings. Most of the model data was provided in a GIS system based on Ordnance Survey data.

Grid results of noise levels were imported back into GIS and in a second phase the GIS system was used to assess the noise impact on the population.

The unique alphanumeric ‘Ordnance Survey Addresspoint Reference’ or OSAPR was chosen as the common ‘geo-reference’ for dwellings.

Façade point calculations of each dwelling helped to provide a database of buildings and related noise levels. This was used to define average and extreme noise exposures per dwelling. Two main data sources of population data per dwelling were linked with these results in a relational database. GIS has since been used to query these results for various aspects.

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Any measurement is meaningless without an uncertainty or tolerance associated with it. All measured numbers contain errors, and as such have an associated uncertainty. Disturbing as it is to an engineer, it is actually not possible to measure anything exactly.

One definition of uncertainty is “A parameter, associated with the result of a measurement that characterizes the dispersion of the values that could be reasonably attributed to the measurand” (the “true” value). The concept of the measurand (what you are trying to assess) is important. A practical definition of uncertainty is “Quantifying the quality of the assessment”. Uncertainty is useful because it makes you think about what could be affecting your result. Uncertainty determination is increasingly being demanded in reports by legislation and by standards.

Uncertainty is a statistical concept, in itself not particularly difficult to understand. However when we are talking about the uncertainty of an environmental noise measurement, things do become tricky since it is difficult to apply statistics to the many real life variables that we are confronted with when we are out on a measurement job.

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Airport CEOs are acutely aware that community concern about airport noise presents one of the biggest threats to the future of their airports. Without careful management, they know that noise concerns have the potential to trigger operating restrictions and frustrate expansion plans.

This primary focus on noise exposure reduction spawned a new profession of Airport Noise Officers in the 1990s, typically skilled in aviation and acoustic analysis, working tirelessly to fine-tune the operation of their airport to minimise noise impact.

Airport Noise and Operations Management Systems (ANOMS) evolved quickly in the 1990s and 2000s to provide the powerful measurement and analysis tools needed to support this technically focused work. These systems rarely saw the light of day and were typically operated by technical experts.

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The camera used with Sentinel is  a professional and affordable fixed camera suitable for a wide range of applications and is supplied in an outdoor housing, providing IP66 protection and operation in a wide range of temperatures between -20°C to 50°C (-4°F to 122°F). The camera provides great levels of detail even in scenes with very complex light conditions and, thanks to the automatic IR-cut filter, it can deliver images both day and night.

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BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd (BWAPL) consists of mining operations located near the town of Boddington, a 51km conveyor linking to an alumina refinery located in Worsley and a port load out facility located in Bunbury. BWAPL mining operations expanded in 2012, resulting in mining operations taking place much closer to a number of residential properties in the community and closer to the township of Boddington. Given the proximity of the mining operation to these sensitive receptors, noise was identified early on as a high risk to the operations that needed to be proactively managed to ensure that BWAPL’s environmental and social licences to operate were maintained. BWAPL adapted Brüel & Kjær’s Noise Sentinel monitoring system to monitor noise generated by mining operations and ensure that the impact on near neighbours was minimised. This was achieved by incorporating alert systems that allowed for proactive management. This paper will cover the compliance parameters required to be measured; the adaptations applied to the software and the key project challenges that were overcome. On the basis of the experiences gained and the positive outcomes achieved through implementing the Noise Sentinel system, BWAPL received a Highly Commended award at the 2013 BHP Billiton Health, Safety, Environment and Community Awards in the Environment category.

Keywords: Mining, Environmental Noise

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